TechTown AllyShift is a scalable workshop training and facilitator certification program based on a model and curriculum originally created by the Ada Initiative. It has been used globally at conferences and within companies.
“Research shows that when women speak up against sexism in the workplace, they often suffer retaliation, but when men speak up against sexism, they seldom suffer retaliation for it and sometimes even get rewarded. Cultural change happens more quickly when men, who are often in positions of greater power, are also actively working for change.”
TechTown AllyShift is a three-hour workshop to build individual ally skills among employees of TechTown companies, and to normalize the positive work environment this creates. The original curriculum was brought to the TechTown community by Puppet through Frame Shift Consulting. With the financial support of Prosper Portland, the TechTown community has developed a scalable and sustainable adaptation of the program to align with our long-term goals of providing monthly, accessible training to all Pledge employees. Tanya Webb, Head of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at Puppet and a member of the TechTown Steering Committee, has spearheaded the effort and been instrumental in its success.
The AllyShift workshop session creates a safe environment for open and effective discussion. Attendees learn a baseline of terminology, and through scenario-based experiential learning, they gain skills to combat oppressive actions and culture. Scenarios range from unintended microaggressions stemming from poor word choice to explicit bias.
AllyShift Workshop Stats:
“I found the information provided and the feedback after the scenarios very thoughtful and informative”
“Excellent training on how to be an ally and build a safer and more inclusive community and work place. I would encourage all businesses to participate.”
“AllySkills Workshop was the most important workshop I’ve been to in my career. In our world full of racism, stereotypes, and phobias, it’s more important than ever to stand up for each other and support each other, for only through compassion and understanding can we forge a brighter path forward.”
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AllyShift workshop sessions are led by two AllyShift co-facilitators. AllyShift Facilitators are TechTown Pledge company employees who have completed a full-day AllyShift Facilitator training. All AllyShift facilitators have access to additional training sessions to enhance their facilitator skills.
AllyShift is currently available only to employees of TechTown companies at this time, but we are looking to expand soon.
Portland tech companies have joined the Diversity & Inclusion Pledge since its initial launch in 2015.